Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Social media usage in rural India up by 100 percent: Report
Usage of social media in rural India has grown by 100 percent during the last one year with 25 million users residing in that belt, a report said here on Wednesday.
 
However, urban India registered a relatively lower growth of 35 percent with the total number of users at 118 million as on April 2015, says the 'Social Media in India 2014' report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) International.
 
There are 143 million social media users in India as on April 2015. The report stated that the top four metros continue to account for almost half of the social media users in urban India.
 
The report said the largest segment accessing social media consists of the college going students with 34 percent followed by young men at 27 percent.
 
School-going children constitute 12 percent of the social media users. College-going students and young men still form the 60 percent of the social media users in urban India.
 
The report further stated that 61 percent of these users access social media on their mobile device.
 
"The fact that almost two-thirds of the users are already accessing social media through their mobile is a promising sign. With the expected increase in mobile traffic the number of users accessing social media on mobile is only bound to increase," the report added.

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India's largest NBFC gets RBI nod to set up universal bank
India's largest microfinance company Bandhan Financial Services Ltd. (BFSL) on Wednesday received the final nod from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a universal bank.
 
BFSL, presently a non-banking financial company (NBFC), is scheduled to kick-start its banking operations on August 23 this year in Kolkata.
 
"Our plan is to open around 500-600 branches across India with a special focus on the east and north-eastern parts of the country. We will be a bank for all, but our primary objective will be to serve the unbanked," the company's director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh said.
 
It has recently completed raising Rs.1,020 crore equity from the International Finance Corporation, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and the state-run Small Industries Development Bank of India, after which its net worth has gone up to Rs.2,700 crore.
 
The RBI had stipulated a minimum capital base of Rs.500 crore for new banks.
 
Its loan book stands at Rs.10,000 crore.
 
BFSL has appointed 850 experienced banking professionals at senior and middle-level positions to run its operations in addition to the 17,000 employees that the microfinance entity already has.
 
"The bank will specially cater to the need of micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) and small and medium enterprise (SME) units. We have adequate capital and solid risk management system in place and we will serve everyone with utmost honesty and the highest ethics," he said.
 
After receiving the in-principle license from the country's apex bank in April last year, the company had been working towards transforming itself into a bank -- a task for which it appointed five specialised agencies.
 
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd. was selected as the consultant for the banking project while FIS was selected as the information technology partner. 
 
Aon Hewitt was assigned to design the human resources and compensation policy for employees, Madison Media handled the advertising needs and Ogilvy & Mather was appointed to handle the brand-building exercise.
 
BFSL made a humble beginning in 2001 with the idea of "making a significant contribution towards poverty alleviation by empowering women".
 
It is presently registered as a non-banking finance company with RBI and has operations in 22 states with a network of 2,022 branches.

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COMMENTS

R Balakrishnan

1 year ago

A micro finance co will suddenly find itself in an ugly world to collect deposits to run its show. And deal with sophisticated borrowers who are NPAs in disguise. Wonder what prompted a successful microfinance co to get in here? Let us hope that the promoter's spirit and character builds this in to a good bank, with lending being the last priority. Keeping all the deposits in G-Secs itself will give a good spread. No need for fancy loans etc.

Correa's work: Inspiration in brick and mortar
Correa's demise has left a void that will be impossible to fill feel many renowned architects
 
In an otherwise crowded world of architects, two names that immediately stand out are Le Corbusier and Charles Correa.
 
Corbusier's legacy was an entire city - Chandigarh. Correa, who passed away in Mumbai on Tuesday evening aged 84, had that and more.
 
Correa's demise has left a void that will be impossible to fill feel many renowned architects.
 
"With his designs and creations, Correa was catapulted to heights of fame and glory... He was the face of modern Indian architecture in the world and truly represented the country," well-known architect Hafeez Contractor told IANS.
 
Terming his death as "a major blow" to Indian architecture and the community of architects and urban planners, Contractor told IANS: "Entire generations have learnt or have been inspired by him. The void would be impossible to fill."
 
Correa designed many landmarks like Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya, Ahmedabad, the Handloom Pavilion in Delhi, Bharat Bhavan and Vidhan Bhavan in Madhya Pradesh, Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, the Permanent Mission of India at the UN in New York, the Kala Academy in Goa and what was origianlly the state-run Kovalam Beach resort in Kerala, among many more.
 
He was the chief architect of Navi Mumbai, the satellite suburb of Indian's financial capital and went on to set up the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) in 1984, dedicated to protecting the environment and improving urban communities.
 
The Padma Shri (1972) and Padma Vibhushan (2006) award winner taught at several universities in India and abroad and it was his lectures at the School of Urban Planning and Architecture that greatly inspired one of his students, K.T. Ravindran, an urban designer and former chairman of the Delhi Urban Arts Commission.
 
"My association with him goes back to the 1970s when I met him as a student. I attended his lectures at the School of Planning and Architecture a number of times," Ravindran told IANS.
 
Correa was particularly known for his 'contextual designs' which complimented the local climates and building styles.
 
The Jeevan Bharti building in Delhi's Connaught Place was his creation and a futuristic design for its time that left many in awe.
 
"His designs were keenly contextual depending upon the project his approach to a design would vary. He was the most important and consequential architect India has produced in this century," said Ravindran, adding that the District Centre in Salt Lake City in Kolkata was his best design in India.
 
However, a visit to Berlin to judge a competition along with Correa left a lasting impression on Ravindran.
 
"I got an opportunity to travel with him to Berlin to be a part of the jury of an architectural competition and it was an eye-opening experience for me because the man was so well informed and such a witty conversationalist. The whole group of ambassadors were eating out of his hands," Ravindran said.
 
Eminent urban planner Ravi Kadam described Correa as an architect with a vision that could "blend history with futuristic aspirations for the present generation".
 
"Correa was a bigger legend than some of his legendary creations over the years," Kadam told IANS.
 
His works in Kerala - the 183-room Leela Kovalam, a five-star hotel that's perched on a peak overlooking the sea, and the Parumala Church located near Thiruvalla about 120 km from the Capital will remain immortal, feel many.
 
The church, seating more than 2,000 worshippers reflects the history, tradition and culture of a conventional Indian church while the iconic hotel, built originally for the India Tourism Development Corporation during 1969-74 is an architectural marvel till date.

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